Huckleberries are pretty exclusive to the Pacific Northwest and few months back I was lucky enough to inherit a bag of frozen huckleberries that a friend had picked last summer but couldn’t take with her when she moved back to Georgia. I say lucky, because they grow in mountainous regions and are usually handpicked. They look like mini blueberries and (to me) taste like blueberries with a citrus twist.
They had been sitting in the freezer since March and they were really beginning to bug me. Why wasn’t I proactive enough to thaw them out and actually do something with them? We have a tiny freezer, well in proportion with our “closet kitchen” and space is precious with a capital P.
Finally I decided what I would do: when we were back in Australia this Easter, my little sister made me a raspberry slice that she very kindly altered to be fructose friendly. It was delicious, and I especially liked the almond meal base.
I figured that huckleberries, with their slight citrus tang, would go nicely with the maple syrup in the almond meal slice. Not knowing the recipe that Lisa used, I altered my almond meal pastry recipe slightly to suit.
Almond Slice Base
- 2 cups almond meal
- 4 tbsp. coconut butter/unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 egg
Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F. Hand or stand mix all of the above ingredients until they are thoroughly combined. Adjust the mixture with more almond meal if it’s too runny or more maple syrup or butter if it’s too dry. It should be tacky and easily moldable – not dry/crumbly or too sloppy.
Line a 9″ square cake pan/casserole dish with baking paper and press the mixture evenly across the dish and into the corners.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until it is slightly firm to the touch.
- 2 cups huckleberries (or other berries of your choice, fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup shredded desiccated coconut – swap for slivered nuts of your choice if coconut is problematic for you
Simmer the berries and maple syrup for 20-30 minutes, until the berries have burst, let their juices out and the mixture has begun to thicken. You could cheat a little here and add some corn starch dissolved in a tsp. of water but we don’t want starchy flavours in this.
Pour the mixture on top of the semi-baked slice base and top with the shredded coconut/slivered nuts. Return to the oven and continue baking for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when topping is slightly firmed and then allow it to cool. The slice will continue to firm up with cooling and is best eaten after at least 3-4 hours. You could eat it straight away, of course – but you’ll probably require a spoon.
Here is the slice post baking.
Serving it is as easy as letting it cool then slicing it into 2.5 x 5 cm sections and plating them up.
The edge pieces were nearly all stained dark blue but the inner pieces had a clear definition between slice base and topping.
Enjoy with freshly whipped cream, ice cream, vanilla bean custard, tea or coffee. Once sliced, these would also make a handy and nutritious snack on the go or a morning tea to have at work/school.